Posts Tagged ‘video’

Animatron: Creating animations and videos made all the more effortless

At one point or another in a lifetime, we’ve all been addicted to animations and felt fascinated by them. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own animations and fascinate the world, well my friend, the time is now! Today, we’re showcasing a super easy tool that will help you achieve what you have always wanted to do – create animations and videos effortlessly. The product we’re talking about is called Animatron, and with renowned companies like Google, Dell, Facebook, and Amazon using it, you can’t go wrong with this one.


Animatron can easily be tagged as one of the most popular and simplest of tools with the utmost advanced features to create high quality, studio-like animations or videos. And if you’re thinking that you need some basic coding experience to create such intricate videos, the answer is a big NO! There are two products which Animatron offers you to choose from depending on what kind of videos you want to create – and Animatron Pro Studio. Both of them are free to try but are very limited and should definitely give you an idea of how things work.

This tool is ideal for users who want to create light animation videos, particularly marketers or social media managers. You can instantly resize your videos and import your own assets to create or add customizations. And it lets you instantly preview your results! What’s more – you get access to over 200 million stock video clips. So create a basic and trigger your creativity.

How do I use

It is really simple to get things started with Follow this step-by-step guide.

  • Visit which will give you the option to choose either or Pro studio. Here, click
  • The subsequent page will ask you to sign up where you can enter your email details.
  • A verification link would be sent to your email through which your account can be set up.
  • Once this has been completed, you can start creating your first project.
  • Do this by clicking on the “Create Project” button.
  • The next page would lead you to all the predefined templates where you can choose something which suits your idea.
  • You can also start right from scratch! Go on – innovate!

Animatron Wave Video


Here comes the main part – the pricing. There are three plans from which you can choose –Pro, Agency, and Ultimate which are priced at $39, $49 and $149 per month respectively. The prices shoot up by approximately 40% when you choose a monthly plan. The agency plan is the most popular plan which most of the users prefer.

Apart from this, they have many resources which you get access to. Using these resources you can educate yourself in making professional videos. You can also see the tutorials on their website or walkthrough the workshops which they offer. This can give you a better idea about the tool.

Animatron Pro Studio

As the name suggests, this is for people who want to create heavy animations and is more suitable for small businesses and agencies. The word “Pro” might make you feel like you need prior experience in using this software. That’s where the guys behind Animatron have cracked the puzzle. The “Lite Mode” of the Pro Studio is so simple that it does not require any prior knowledge of the tool. You can create animations using a drag-and-drop action from the huge marketplace content they have. Using the Lite mode, you can easily create Whiteboard animations, Object appearance effects, smooth butter like scene transitions, and record your own voice in the editor to give it a voiceover. Once you are used to this, you can start exploring the “Expert Mode” which gives you the options to create business marketing style videos, HTML5 banners, and stunning presentations. With this awesome tool, you can impress your audience with your new-found skills!

How do I use Animatron Pro Studio?

Before you ignite your creativity, you will need an account.

  • Create an account with Animatron. Click on “Studio” on their homepage –
  • Click on the “Create Project” button which should take you to the tool directly.
  • There are a number of parts in the screen like the toolbar, the menu bar, the import function, the timeline, and the main canvas, to name a few.
  • You may want to explore your first video in the Lite Mode by clicking on the “Lite” button in the top bar.
  • Go on – explore the endless possibilities with this tool.

Animatron Pro Studio


Coming to the pricing plans, there are two pricing plans to choose from. They are named Pro and Business. They are priced at $15 and $30 per month respectively when priced annually. The same plans will cost you 50% higher when you opt for monthly billing. All the plans include the pro features such as HTML5 publishing, exporting to SVG, and SVG+SMIL, Social Sharing, Interactivity, and Scripting.

Pros VS Cons

While it has several pros like:

  • A fluidic UI design
  • Wide variety of customizable graphics
  • Focus on customer experience

There is a huge con to Animatron:

  • The UI can sometimes be a bit slow on the uptake because of the heavy animations
  • Create custom videos and animations, effortlessly, with @animatron via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

On the whole, we liked Animatron. It is a great tool to not just give a boost to your sales but also earn you a good return on investment. The company claims to have above 300% ROI, which is ultra-impressive. This tool definitely is worth a try. It runs in close competition to Adobe AfterEffects and you would never regret spending your dime on it.

New Age Customer Onboarding with Bonjoro

Some of the leading organizations in the world spend millions trying to delight and retain customers. They try everything from offers to special programs to targeted marketing, but what they often overlook is the importance of the “personal touch”. An email in your customer’s inbox is personal to some level, but it is just that – a piece of written word the reader won’t take a second to send to the Trash. And with the amount of email marketing messages everyone gets these days that is exactly what is bound to happen to your marketing message.

So what’s the solution? A more personalized way of reaching out. And that is made possible with Bonjoro, the modern way to welcome your customers aboard or just say “thank you” through a personalized video message delivered to their inbox. Check it out.

Bonjoro – create the most endearing welcome or thank you videos for new customers

Bonjoro takes the concept of customer on-boarding to a new level. It lets you record and send personalized welcome videos to your customers making them feel more at home. It’s a great way to create a customer base that’s loyal since Bonjoro builds a heart-to-heart bridge between you and your customer.

And it’s not just about creating videos. You can connect Bonjoro to your existing CRM software to send automated messages to existing contacts thanking them for their continued support, thus ensuring that they’ll stick around for longer. Plus, you can add all sorts of edits to the videos you create like inserting call-to-action buttons at the end, custom messages, creating video thumbnails, etc. and it even lets you collaborate by inviting team members to join you on and start reaching out to customers. Trust us when we say this, Bonjoro is a simple yet brilliant way to make best-in class customer service a company-wide initiative.

Some of the best features of Bonjoro include:

  • Uses the concept of video messaging to create and customize personalized videos for customer on-boarding
  • Allows sending videos via email
  • Allows assigning Bonjoros to other team members and lets them get notified when one gets assigned to them
  • Includes analyzing feature for the number of Bonjoros opened, viewed, and more
  • Enables users to insert calls-to-action at the end of the video message
  • Integrates easily with existing CRM, email marketing, or social media
  • Includes tracking feature for monitoring team results
  • The tool is available as an app on Apple Store & Google Play

To read a complete list of Bonjoro’s features, visit this link.

How it works

Bonjoro basically works in 4 steps:

  • Connect it with your existing CRM application to pull in contacts
  • Record a video message and send it to your customers’ inbox
  • Measure what impact your message had by tracking opens, view and click through-rates
  • Add team members to make the entire thing a team-effort

To try out if this was indeed as simple as it sounded, we signed up with Bonjoro using the “Sign up for free” button on the home page. You could also use the “Start free trial” button on the main menu for this.

  1. Just key-in your email address and pick a password. Click “Let’s go” and proceed.
  2. At the next step you’ll be asked to make some basic changes to your profile since your customer will view it directly (literally). So here you can make improvements to your profile like add your picture, a company name, your title, etc. Click on “Confirm” when you’re done.
    Note: If you want to skip this step, just click on the ‘Skip’ button at the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. The next step is quite interesting. You’ll be asked to punch in your mobile number so that Bonjoro can SMS you its app with step-by-step instructions on how to record your first video. You could either do that or download the Bonjoro app from App Store or Google Play.
    Note: If you’re unsure about giving in your mobile number to a tool so early on, simply click on “Download it later” at the bottom and proceed.
  4. That should do it. Now you’ll land up at your dashboard with a welcome message from Bonjoro and a helpful chat bot at the right prompting you to select your goal for creating Bonjoros. Depending upon the goal you select you’re sent tips for utilizing the tool in the best way. Click on “Get Started” on the welcome message to proceed.
  5. The dashboard has the following components:
    1. To-Do: Options for you to pick depending upon what you wish to do first:
      1. Add a team member (this can be done by clicking on the ‘Add Someone’ button. You may add team members via email address, by uploading a spreadsheet containing contacts (max 50 in a free account), or by connecting Bonjoro to your existing CRM))
      2. Send a practice video to someone at Bonjoro. This is to familiarize yourself with creating your first video message and see how it looks. You can use this to improve on the background, sound, voice-tone, etc. and then create the final video to be sent to customers.
      3. Send a practice video to an email id you pick. You can key in your own id here to see how it will look to your customers.
        Note: Here you will be required to grant audio/video access permission to Bonjoro so that your video can be recorded.
    2. Results: This screen lets you see how your Bonjoros perform. You can track response times, view rates, and even conduct AB tests your personal on-boarding.
    3. Design: Here you can edit the Bonjoro you recorded by inserting a logo, custom background, and CTA. The free account doesn’t allow you to select Designs but if you upgrade your membership, you can choose from a variety of Bonjoro designs that you can use as templates for your future Bonjoros.
    4. Automation: This is where you can automate your process to save time by connecting Bonjoro to your existing CRM or use any other integrations like Zapier, Google, Mailchimp, etc. Adding integrations is very straightforward and the tool gives you detailed instructions for each step.
    5. Preferences: This section contains your account related settings that you can alter / update whenever needed.

Pros & Cons

Well the pros don’t need to be recounted; they’re just right there! Plus it’s very affordable. Check it out here.

Honestly, we couldn’t find much of any cons with the tool’s purpose or working. Just a few good to have things:

  • You can’t track the results of your Bonjoros with a free account unless you create at least 15 Bonjoros.
  • We did experience some technical glitches while recording our Bonjoros through a laptop even after granting the camera and microphone access. Don’t know at which end the problem was, but the mobile app operated just fine.
  • The log out button should be clearly placed at a general spot like the top right corner of the screen instead of the “Preferences” tab.
  • Create personalized video messages for customer onboarding and engagement using @bonjoroapp via @supermonitoring

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The real power of Bonjoro lies in its simplicity. Recording video messages with it is super easy and the impact you can achieve through it is massive. There’s nothing more a customer loves than being made feel special through a personal “welcome” or “thank you” message. It creates a human connection with your prospect thus laying the grounds for a long-lasting relationship. We loved the tool and give it a double thumbs-up.

Create stunning GIFs with ezGIF

With social media and sharing content with friends becoming the norm of the day, people keep coming up with new and unique ways to say what they’re trying to say. The closest example we can cite for this case is animated GIFs. All you need to do is scroll down your Facebook page a little to spot at least one hilarious GIF someone has shared. Even on WhatsApp, GIFs are the new craze. From commenting on posts to reacting with witty one-liners, everything is being achieved with custom GIFs these days.

If you’ve ever wondered how people seem to find the perfect funny GIFs to share on the exact right moment, well, you’re not alone. A lot of people (including us) have been looking for a way to create our very own GIFs with custom images and we’ve found just the tool that can help. Say Hi to ezGIF – the online GIF maker and image editor. Let’s find out all there is to know about this tool.

ezGIF – Suite of tools for GIFs

ezGIF started off as a simple online GIF maker tool but has evolved into a whole suite of tools for GIF editing. Creating, resizing, cropping, reversing, optimizing, and applying some effects to GIFs, you can do anything with it. Classified as one of the best post production tools, this is the go-to product if you really want to turn your GIFs around. It works with images as well as videos (not YouTube links, yet), lets you play around with GIF size, make them more effect-y flip them horizontally or vertically, add overlay texts, change their speed – basically do almost anything you can think of when it comes to GIFs.

Here’s a quick look at the different tools packed within the ezGIF suite:

  • GIF Maker – Allows you to combine separate image files as frames to create your own animated GIFs.
    • You can also edit, shorten or merge existing GIFs.
    • Additionally, you can upload JPG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF and they will be converted automatically
    • Supports PDF files or ZIP archive with images
  • Video to GIF – Allows you to upload your mp4, AVI, WEBM, FLV, WMV and many other popular types of video and rich media files to turn them into animated GIFs.
    • Source video file can be uploaded from your computer or Smartphone or fetched by URL
    • Lets you crop the video by entering start and end time
  • GIF Resizer – Lets you resize, crop, or flip animated gifs and other images, with the same quality and speed as professional software, without the need to buy and install anything.
    • Lets you select the action to perform if the aspect ratio of the source image and your chosen size does not match
    • Supports resizing of animated WEBP, APNG, FLIF and MNG files (and any other common image type) without losing animation
  • Optimizer – Lets you optimize GIF images in one of 4 ways:
    • Reduce GIF file size by compressing them using Lossy GIF compression
    • Reduce GIF file size by reducing the number of colors in each frame
    • Reduce GIF file size by removing every second, third, or fourth frame to reduce frame rate and, therefore, file size
    • Reduces GIF file size by keeping the first frame in the background, and making unchanged parts of the following frames transparent

In addition to these primary tools, ezGIF also includes GIF to Sprite Converter and Sprite Sheet Cutter to play around with CSS Sprites that can be posted directly on websites.

How the various tools within ezGIF work

Visit and choose one of the 4 primary products indicated in the upper center of the screen. Let’s pick each up one by one.

GIF maker

  1. Click on “GIF Maker” on the home page to reach the work page
  2. Choose the files with which you wish to create GIF. You can choose multiple files by pressing and holding ctrl / command key
  3. Click on “Upload and make a GIF”
  4. You will now be redirected to the editing page. Here, make the desired changes like:
    1. Change image order (drag and drop)
    2. Set time delay for each image (in milliseconds)
    3. Resize to make all images of the same size
    4. Toggle the range of frames
    5. Set Loop Count (how many times do you want the GIF to repeat playing)
    6. Additional effects (crossfade frames to include a smooth transition effect, or remove frame stacking)
  5. When all edits have been made, click on “Make a GIF”
  6. After a few seconds your GIF should display in the a box a little lower on the page
  7. You can make changes to the GIF (crop, resize, optimize, speed, etc.) after it is created

Video to GIF

  1. Click on “Video to GIF” on the home page to reach the work page
  2. Choose the video (from computer or Smartphone) with which you wish to create GIF
  3. Click on “Upload Video” (maximum upload size is 120 MB)
  4. You will now be redirected to the editing page. Here, make the desired changes like:
    1. Cut any undesired parts of the video
    2. Enter start and end time (if you don’t select anything, the GIF will be created with the first 5 seconds of the video)
  5. When all edits have been made, click on “Make a GIF”
  6. Depending upon the size of the video and your edits, after a little while your GIF should display in a box a little lower on the page
  7. You can make changes to the GIF (crop, resize, optimize, speed, etc.) after it is created

GIF Resizer

  1. Click on “GIF Resizer” on the home page to reach the work page
  2. Choose the image you wish to resize (GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP, WebP, APNG, FLIF, MNG)
  3. Click on “Upload”
  4. Once file has been uploaded, click on “Resize”
  5. Depending upon the size of the image after a little while your resized image should display in a box a little lower on the page


  1. Click on “Optimizer” on the home page to reach the work page
  2. Choose the image you wish to optimize (GIF, JPG, PNG)
  3. Click on “Upload”
  4. You will now be redirected to the editing page. Here pick which technique you wish to use to optimize the image:
    1. Lossy GIF Compression
    2. Color Reduction
    3. Removing every nth frame
    4. Optimize Transparency
  5. When all edits have been made, click on “Optimize”
  6. After a little while your optimized image should display in the a box a little lower on the page

That’s pretty much it.

The Good VS the Bad

The good points of this tool are many and don’t need to be recounted.

There are no bad sides as such, only some features that would be good to have, like the ability to upload videos larger than 120 MB, or YouTube link support.

  • Create, edit, resize, & optimize animated GIFs easily with @ezgif_com via @supermonitoring

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Considering that the tool lets you do everything for free, we’d say it’s definitely worth it. It works great and does exactly what it promises – delivers great GIFs! Double thumbs up.

Put your screen recording woes to rest with Screencast-o-matic

A successful blog post is made of three important elements: text, images, and video. While you may think that your text should be enough to describe your concept properly, walking that extra mile with an image doesn’t hurt. A picture speaks more than a thousand words, doesn’t it? But what works better than images, are videos; especially when you are trying to explain a complex concept. You need to monitor your post traffic to understand if your audience gets hitched on to your content easily without getting confused or intimidated with long and complex words. Videos are the best thing that have happened to the Internet; which is why more and more organizations are opting for video instructions than textual documentation.

A live walkthrough of the application that you are giving to the market, a quick demo of the new concept you are going to teach in class, tutorials to educate your team on the new tool, all of these require videos. While there are quite a few software applications available in the market that will help you create videos, what will be really nice is creating a video without actually learning the mechanics of recording combined videos.

Enter Screencast-o-matic!

Screencast-o-matic: All you need to know about this cool video creating tool

The simplicity of Screencast-o-matic is its USP. Once you perform a video recording of your screen, all you have to do is upload it to your sharing platform and that is it. Take a look at few of the many amazing features of this tool.

  • Free version entitles you to 15-minute recordings. With Pro you can record longer videos.
  • Editing Tools to make your videos more appealing (Pro version)
  • Option to add audio scripts to your recordings (Pro version)
  • Simultaneous recording of the screen along with the Webcam turned on. Or you could record only the screen or only with the Webcam turned on.
  • Direct publishing of content to YouTube. Also, you can save your content online as a video file on Screencast-o-matic’s portal.
  • Option to publish videos to Google Drive, Vimeo, and Dropbox (Pro version)
  • Easy to use. Even if you are beginner, you will find no trouble learning how to record videos of the screen.
  • They have a free version available, which comes with only a few hindrances. What’s more! The Paid version (Pro) is pretty cheap at $15 a year.

This is how it rolls

Visit Screencast-o-matic’s homepage and click on the blue button that says “Start Recording”. You’ll be directed to a page where you can choose between using a free trial or registering for a paid pro version. Our suggestion would be to try the tool out first before investing in it, so click on the green button that says “Launch Recorder”. This will download the tool launcher to your system. The executable will be named WebLaunchRecorder.exe. It is a legitimate download so you don’t need to worry about malware.

Once the download is complete, install and run the set-up file. After the setup is complete, the system will prompt you to select an option. For the free version, select the Use FREE Recorder option. You can start recording with one of the following options:

  • Record with the Webcam switched on without the screen
  • Record only the screen without the Webcam switched on
  • Record both the screen and the Webcam

To start recording, click the Rec button at the bottom left of the screen. The system displays a small timer that times everything that is being recorded. To pause or stop the recording, click the Rec button again. When you press the button for the second time, the system will display the following message:

Delete everything and start over?

Don’t panic, simply choose an appropriate option. If you have finished recording, click Done and the system will display a preview of your recording. If you want to delete your recording, click the Trash Can icon. To save your recording, choose one of the following options:

  • Save the video locally on your system with one of the following extensions: AVI, MP4, etc.
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Upload your video to Screencast-o-matic.

The Good and the Bad

Let’s visit the plus points of the tool first:

  • Once you start working on the tool, it is pretty simple to navigate and get stuff done.
  • Since the tool allows you to directly upload your content to YouTube you don’t need to waste any extra time in saving it locally and going through the tedious procedure of publishing.
  • Screecast-o-matic allows you to record from both sources simultaneously, which means you save the time you would have spent if using more than one software application to combine both videos.

Now for the negatives:

  • Because Screencast-o-matic requires a constant internet connection to record everything, it gets inconvenient for users to work offline.
  • For users trying out the free version, full-screen recording is not enabled. You will have to buy the Pro version for full-screen recording.
  • The free version comes with a 15 minute limit of recording time. Of course, the Pro version does not have this limitation.
  • Another disadvantage of using the free version is that it comes without the ability to use the computer’s audio recording system. The Pro version can be used to overcome this limitation.
  • Record on-screen activity without any hassle, try @screencasto today via @supermonitoring

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Wrapping it up

While the free version is quite limited in functionality, it is still pretty useful for people wanting to make a quick recording of a short presentation or video call. Most of the limitations of the free version are not applicable to the Pro version, which in turn is not very expensive. We urge you to give Screencast-o-matic a try. Since videos are quickly becoming a must in all blog posts, Screencast-o-matic could become quite a handy tool for you.

Whiteboard animation made easy by VideoScribe

Vibrant colors coming to life, hand drawings of complicated charts, ideas that demand a world of their own; you get all this and more if you have your animation down pat! With the increase in its trend, animation is one of the most sought-after marketing techniques. It is widely used in branding, imaging, education, and a lot of other fields. Until now, Microsoft PowerPoint was the popular choice to help with those arrow tricks and zooming gradients. But that has changed; with the rising demand for cool animation tricks, comes the increase in the number of animation software options available in the online market. However, one fact remains established: Animation is the key to any marketing proposition you make to capture your audiences’ attention.

Now that that’s established, if you wanted to use animation marketing for your latest project, how would you go about selecting the right tool? Of course you’d need something easy to use so you can avoid the need of seeking help from a professional. At the same time, you need to avoid doing a sloppy job of it. You need to ensure that the end product looks as good and as professional as an expert would do it.

That’s exactly where tools like VideoScribe come into the picture.

VideoScribe – Making Doodling Fun!

Created by Sparkol in 2012, VideoScribe has seen a surge in their number of customers, and for excellent reasons too. They are at the top of their game when it comes to whiteboard animation, and have gained customers in not only the marketing industry but also in government agencies. VideoScribe has been used to create presentations by the US government, the Swedish parliament, and the UK government.

The animation software allows you to create engaging presentations without the help of a professional. It can be installed as a desktop program on both, Mac and Windows. What’s more, you can download its application on tablets running Android or iOS. The interface that VideoScribe provides is intuitive. A little playing around with the application and you will know what all the icons do and what templates are available. Additionally, you get guidebooks and tutorials to help you create engaging presentations.

Some of the most attractive features of the tool include:

  • A huge library of high-quality images to add to your presentation. You have the option to purchase premium images if you can’t find a suitable free one.
  • Support for video size and resolution modification.
  • Vast collection of royalty-free music to add your video.
  • Voiceovers can be imported or recorded.
  • Ability to add your own watermark / logo (premium feature).
  • MOV, WMV, and AVI file formats for your video output. JPG and PNG sequence offered too.
  • Facility to share whiteboard presentations on Facebook and YouTube or covert them to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
  • Saving projects online while working on them offline.

Created on one device, your VideoScribe presentations can be downloaded to multiple other devices.

Tool working

After you have downloaded and installed VideoScribe, you can start creating your very first scribe. While the software does come with a guidebook and tutorial, here are a few easy steps that will help you monitor your ideas come to life:

  • Launch VideoScribe and click on ‘Create a New Scribe’.
  • Click on ‘Add an image to the canvas’ and type what you are looking for in the keyword search field.
  • After you select the image, you can make changes to its resolution, size, or color in the ‘Image Properties’ window. All effects that you add to your image come with a preview.
  • Click ‘Add text to the canvas’ and type the text in the ‘Add text’ window. You can change the font, size, and color of the text.
  • Click on ‘Add a chart to the canvas’ and select the type of chart, dates for data depiction, and color in the Add chart window.
  • Click ‘Add or change a music track for this scribe’ and select a track by browsing for it in the ‘Browse music’ window.
  • Click ‘Add or change the voiceover for this scribe’ and click Record in the Voiceover window.
  • You can also change the background paper for your whiteboard presentation by clicking ‘Change the paper texture and color’ and selecting one of the available options in the ‘Paper options’ window.
  • Click ‘Select a different default hand for this scribe’ and select one of the options in the ‘Select hand’ window. You could even add something of your own by clicking the ADD YOUR OWN button.
  • To save your creation, click on Save or export this scribe -> Take a single snapshot to a PDF document. To save the scribe locally, type the name of the scribe in the ‘Save scribe’ window and save it on your system. To save your scribe online, click on ‘Save (export) online’. To export your scribe, click ‘Export to a “scribe” file’. To import your file back, click ‘Import’ and save it locally.
  • To publish your project, you must create a video file. Click ‘Publish (render) your scribe video’ and you will be able to share your video on Facebook and YouTube.

Pros VS Cons

Why we love VideoScribe

  • Ease of use.
  • The massive library of high-quality images and sound tracks.
  • Eliminates the need of a professional.

What we wish it would offer

  • Something that the others in its competition are offering: sketch to video. The sketching of a video before it plays is a good-to-have feature, and bundled with VideoScribe, it would really be the whole package.
  • The lifetime package of this software does come at a price too steep. If you are just starting out, investing in an expensive product like this one might not be a good idea.
  • Create whiteboard-style animation videos easily with VideoScribe by @SparkolHQ via @supermonitoring

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Overall, we’d say that VideoScribe does the job and does it well! The best part about it is that you can find out for yourself and test its mettle by trying it out for free. So go, download it right away!

Get a peek at what customers do on your website with SmartLook

Convinced you’ve built a great website but aren’t sure why the bounce rate keeps rising? Put attractive options and deals you can on your webpage but still can’t crack your target sales? The problem might very well lie with the design of your website or the information you provide. But how will you get to know what’s wrong? Who should you consult to highlight what you’re missing out?

How about letting the customers show you themselves?

What we’re getting at is that there are tools available online that let you monitor customer behavior by letting you either view their browsing patterns directly or record whatever they do on your website and review it later to gather insights. That way you get to know what customers like or dislike on your webpage and make improvements to achieve your targets better.

Interested yet?

SmartLook – Record customer activity on your website

SmartLook is a smart online tool that lets you record everything visitors do on your website, for free. It records screens of real users as they visit your website so that you can see what visitors clicked, what data they filled into forms, which pages they spend most of their time on, and how they browse through each of your website’s sections. This way, SmartLook can help you identify user experience problems, the reason behind increase in bounce rates, and key attractive areas that convinced users to make purchases.

And if you’re wondering it would require you to install some kind of browser extension or plug-in to activate, well it doesn’t. SmartLook integrates seamlessly with some of the most well known website building platforms including WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, Google Tag Manager, and many more.

Here’s a look at the tool’s best features:

  • Record user behavior as videos and them instantly to reveal improvement points
  • Maintain all recordings of a particular visitor at one place
  • Generate click, move, and heatmaps from the recordings to watch where your visitors click and how far they scroll down the page
  • Find important visitors using filters
  • Share links of user recordings with your UX designers or developers so that everyone can spot issues
  • Link multiple websites with a single SmartLook account
  • Categorize recording using tags
  • Use tool APIs to link customer’s name, email or other info from your system

Additionally, SmartLook also lets you record visitor activity from mobiles and tablets. The tool is flexible enough to let you adjust recordings as per your needs using APIs.

Use SmartLook like this

To start using the tool, visit its website and click on the big green button in the center of the screen that says “Get Started – Free Forever” or click on “Get Started Now” in the upper right corner of the screen. You’ll be directed to a signup page where all you need to provide is your email id and create a password. Thereafter, click on “Let’s take a look”.

After a couple of seconds you’ll reach your dashboard. Okay you need to pay attention to a little catch here. By default, the email id that you provide during signup will be taken as your website name. This setting is kind of strange but anyways. Click on “Switch website” to enter the URL of your website on which you wish to record user activity. You’ll see some options to edit and then delete site. Once we deleted the email id, we clicked on “Add site” to provide our website’s URL.

Once the website was added, we clicked on “Tracking code” to view the snippet we needed to place on our website. The instructions regarding where to place the code were also given there. We placed the code at the appropriate place in our website’s page and waited for a couple of minutes. Thereafter, to test out if the tool worked, we opened up a browser window and visited the pages where we’d placed the tracking code.

The recording didn’t show up instantly, but after about a minute, it was listed with complete information about our browsing environment, date and time of visit. We could view the recording just as it had happened. The tool even informed us that “the visitor is still on your website” for the time we hadn’t closed the window where we were browsing our website.

So yes, SmartLook works, and it works well. But you’ll have to be a little patient and allow it to get updated with the latest results.

Pros VS Cons

The benefits of the tool are obvious. As far as the downsides are concerned, when we tested its working on a mobile device, the recordings didn’t show up for almost 3 minutes after we’d started browsing. We tried filtering the tool to pick up recordings only for mobile devices but still nothing. As we were about to pen it down as a con, the recordings showed up. The browsing activity on the mobile device was also recorded with all information of the environment and time and duration of visit.

And considering we didn’t need to give any credit card information for all this and neither were we asked to register, the free tool came off as pretty cool!

  • See your website through your visitors’ eyes with @getSmartlook via @supermonitoring

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There is a pricing model for the tool that allows you to access premium features, but for most purposes, the free account should suffice. All in all, double thumbs up to SmartLook from our end.

Convert files between multiple formats with Cloud Convert

I’ve often found myself getting annoyed when a downloaded movie doesn’t play on my movie player due to format incompatibilities. The same applies to music. Sometimes, format also hinders my work when a document or presentation created on one computer won’t be accessible or viewable on another computer that doesn’t have the software with which I created it. Such minor issues can transform into huge problems when your professional deadlines approach and you can’t successfully transfer your work from one machine to another to discuss or share your team’s opinions. And the worst scenario is when after spending hours into creating a presentation with effects, music and transitions you’re up there trying to play it and it won’t play as expected due to incompatibilities on the target computer.

We often find ourselves in similar situations stuck due to format incompatibilities. The smart way however to deal with such situations is to have the same material ready in multiple formats with you so that even if one doesn’t work, the other can save the day. For that you need to rope in a trusty format converter. However, unfortunately, most format converters available online are either restricted to particular formats or don’t complete the task until you pay a hefty sum for them or worse, are laden with malware.
But, with Cloud Convert, all such problems seem to be resolved at last!


Cloud Convert – The ultimate format converter!

The purpose of Cloud Convert is instantly clear when you visit the tool’s website. That is, to convert anything to anything. You read that right; it is actually a universal converter that can convert audios, videos, archive files, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images as well as Ebooks from multiple formats into multiple formats. And that’s not all. This brilliant online tool can also convert fonts, vectors, cad files and entire websites (html files). Wow!

The best part of this unique converter is that you don’t need to install anything on your machine. Everything is online, on the cloud. Just select your source and target formats, upload your files and let the tool do its job. We know what you’re thinking. You’re probably worried about the safety of the files you upload right? Well, you don’t need to worry. Cloud Convert doesn’t let anyone else apart from you access your files. Plus, your files are deleted as soon as their conversion is completed.

With powerful API support, you can even use the full functionality of Cloud Convert in your own applications. So basically you can transform the converter into much more if you want to. To read more about it just click on the “API” link on the main menu of the website. Moreover, almost all conversion types support advanced options such as setting the codecs of audio / video files, folder monitoring and batch converting. With over 210 different files formats, Cloud Convert makes sure that once you’ve used it, you’ll never even think about any other format converter.

How it works

On the homepage of the tool, you’ll find a clearly placed line that says, “convert anything to anything” in large letters. On hovering the mouse over the underlined words ‘anything’, you’ll find out they’re actually links. Click on them to open a drop-down listing the type of conversions available. The following types of conversions are available:

  • Anything
  • Archive
  • Audio
  • Cad
  • Document
  • Ebook
  • Font
  • Image
  • Presentation
  • Spreadsheet
  • Vector
  • Video
  • Website


Each of these categories has a further categorization into the format that you wish to select as source and target. For example, you can select Presentation -> pptx (MS PowerPoint presentation) as source and Presentation -> odp (Open Office Presentation) as target. That way you can have your MS Office presentation working fine even if the target machine has Open Office installed.
If you let the selection stay at anything to anything, you have all options available to upload your files. These include:

  • Add from URL
  • Choose from Dropbox
  • Choose from Google Drive
  • Choose from OneDrive
  • Choose from Box

Depending upon the formats you choose as source and targets, these choices will become restricted. There’s one small catch here – while all other options for uploading are available straightaway, to upload files through OneDrive, you’ll need to sign up for a free Cloud Convert account first. Signing up is very easy, just a username, password, email and a verification code are required. No mess, no problem!
Once you’ve selected the files to be converted, you can choose to receive a notification once the conversion has finished and also pick where you wish the converted file to be stored – to your Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or box account. After this, just click on the big red button that says “Start Conversion” and experience the magic!

Additional Features

The makers of Cloud Convert have offered easy app adding buttons on the bottom of the screen to add Cloud Convert to Chrome or an iOS app (like iTunes). Just click on these buttons and you’ll be redirected to the respective pages where you can see detailed descriptions about these features. Additionally, to see what all formats can be converted and into which all formats, click on the “Conversion Types” link on the main menu of the website.

Pros VS Cons

Do we really need to repeat the pros? Conversion from anything to anything, literally; that too, accurate, reliable and free. This tool is a clear winner!
Honestly, we couldn’t find a flaw. Even the pricing packages are so affordable that it would be wrong to call this tool expensive. Check out the pricing for Cloud Convert through the “Pricing” link on the main menu.

  • Convert between 200+ file formats with @CloudConvert via @supermonitoring

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Final Words

This was one tool that made us go “Wow!” with its simplicity, usefulness and approach. Use it and experience its worth right now!

My Web Toolkit: Rand Fishkin

Last time we have interviewed the creator of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and Hello Bar. Today we present you a SEO Guru.

Rand Fishkin is best known for creating Moz (former SEO Moz) – a popular SEO platform offering inbound marketing software, tools and resources.
He also co-founded – the community for marketing professionals.

Rand is very popular because of his blogs, where he shares his great knowledge: the official Moz Blog and his personal Rand’s Blog.
I guess you might have heard of Whiteboard Friday – a series of short videos, full of valuable insight, made by Rand and his colleagues.

Rand lives and works in Seattle. Privately he travels a lot with his charming wife Geraldine, who describes their journeys on her blog.

Rand Fishkin

Twitter Google+ Facebook Linkedin Slideshare Foursquare

Rand’s Top Web Apps

Here are the top web apps Rand Fishkin uses and recommends:

  • gmail Gmail“for almost everything in my life, personal and professional”
  • 7Geese 7Geese“for intra-company OKRs, 1:1s, feedback, etc. at Moz”
  • Moz Fresh Web Explorer“for tracking mentions and links about myself, Moz, and projects I care about; it’s vastly superior to Google Alerts”
  • followerwonk Followerwonk“for Twitter analytics, connecting to new people, and improving my use of Twitter (which is my primary social network)”
  • googleanalytics Google Analytics“for web analytics”
  • surveymonkey SurveyMonkey“for designing surveys, collecting data, and aggregating feedback”
  • bitly Bitly“for tracking my social sharing”
  • wistia Wistia“for my Whiteboard Friday videos”
  • pocket Pocket“to collect articles I read later (usually on plane flights)”
  • .@randfish Top Web Apps: @Gmail, @7geese, FreshWebExplorer by @moz, @followerwonk, @GoogleAnalytics, @SurveyMonkey, @bitly, @wistia, @pocket

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Web Apps Rand is involved in

“All the Moz tools – yup! But none of the others.”

How does Rand find his apps?

“No specific blogs, but I do follow a number of folks on Twitter and Google+ who occasionally mention new tools/apps I try. For example, I found via Google+ and love it.”

That’s it.
Stay tuned for another “My Web Toolkit” interview! service greatness secret revealed: Superheroes (video)

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